Embrace the Feedback

I’m always fascinated with the way that HR labels things. Whether it is a chart, a report, a box on the “9box,” or a rating model, it doesn’t take long to notice a trend.

There are very few “bad” labels in an HR report. This is a group that really cares about your self-esteem.

They don’t want to label you as an underachiever or bad at your job – nope — you are misaligned talent.

I’m all about job fit, but part of job fit is getting real with yourself about where you are good and where you are not.

What about those parts of the job that are less about skill and more about hard work?

Where is the affordance for feedback about the fact that you might be skilled, but you might also be lazy or having an attitude problem that is bringing down the whole group?

In the end, I think the hesitation to say anything specific and constructive impacts the reputation of the whole function. I would like to encourage HR leaders to jump into the feedback topic with a more honest approach. Spare me the euphemisms and help my leaders have those tough conversations.

Give them words.

I’m fine that you make sure that they are not hurtful, but don’t wash out the meaning in that process. Feedback is tough and it is tricky, but to get results, it must be understood.

This blog was originally posted on TalentedApps.

Why Are We Smarter About Puppies Than Humans?

While before I was talking about feedback in general, today I want to talk specifically about positive feedback and the merits of praise. 

Just coming back from The Conference Board’s Employee Engagement and Retention Conference last week, I was struck by just how far we have to go in this area. One point that summed it up for me was the following set of questions and responses.

When asked, “do you need encouragement to do your best at work?”

20% replied yes. 

When asked, “when you get encouragement, does it motivate you to do your best?”

90% replied yes.

We all read this and think “of course,” we know this. So I ask you, when was the last time you said thanks?

Does your team make it a standard practice to recognize the contributions in an authentic and timely way? Why do we understand so easily when training puppies that rewarding good behavior causes them to behave, but with people we focus on “constructive feedback” (and maybe once a year?!) and expect that to yield results.

I would encourage you to consider making a serious [focused] effort to say thank you more often. Not only will it help someone be motivated to continue to do their best, it might also help you to always look on the bright side of life.

This blog was originally posted on TalentedApps.